I placed a Walmart.com order at around 1pm today, and the automated messaging at checkout told me to expect it to arrive tomorrow.
You know, with the pandemic and everything that followed in its wake, I stopped expecting 2-day shipping from Amazon and other retailers.
By the end of the day tomorrow, with free shipping? Sounds good, right?
There’s something else I wanted to order, but my day was so hectic that I don’t remember if I placed a second order or not. Rather than go downstairs to check my laptop to see if the items still in a browser window and waiting to be ordered, I checked my order history from my desktop.
Huh? What does it mean that today’s order was already delivered? According to my order history, my order from today was delivered from the store at around 6:30pm. That’s not possible – right?
I went to downstairs, opened the front door, and there was my order. One item was in a shopping bag and the other was left bare in its retail box packaging.
Even when Amazon offers free same-day delivery, which in my experience has become very rare, orders have to be placed before noon, or maybe even earlier – it’s been so long that I don’t remember. What Walmart did here, delivering my order in less than 6 hours, I am extremely surprised.
Why was my order fulfilled from the store? Not that I’m complaining – I opted for shipping since I couldn’t spare the minimum 30-40 minutes it would take for an in-store pickup roundtrip.
I suppose they saved money on a box and traditional shipping fees? Whatever the explanation, I didn’t expect this.
When looking at some other items, there’s a message that items will be delivered from a store, but the items I ordered say they are sold and shipped by Walmart.com. How did Walmart’s fulfillment systems know to redirect the order to the local store instead?
Some stores fulfill online orders with in-store merchandise. For example, a couple of my Lowe’s orders were fulfilled by stores – or cancelled by stores who were apparently tasked to fulfill online orders but lacked the inventory to do so. But those were still shipped to me.
It seems that Walmart has upped their game, adding store delivery into their online order fulfilment scheme.
Why is any of this important to ToolGuyd readers? Remember: Walmart will be Delivering Tools and Supplies for Home Depot.
My first thought, when I brought my delivery in, was “wow, that was shockingly fast.” Almost immediately, my next thought was “wow, is this the Walmart local delivery network Home Depot signed up with?!!”
I’ve used Home Depot’s express delivery before, and it’s fairly fast, but they also charge a fee ($8.99 for small car-transportable orders). For today’s Walmart order, there was no fee since my order total was over $35, enabling free shipping.
Can we expect the same kind of speed and ease of delivery from Home Depot once their partnership with Walmart spreads to different areas?
I know that this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I was so surprised that I felt compelled to share this with you.
I found it interesting that Home Depot partnered with Walmart as their first delivery service retail client. But with what happened today, that interest has now turned into excitement. It seems that I just experienced the rapid efficiency of Walmart’s local delivery capabilities, and I think that their arrangement with Home Depot is going to be a far bigger deal than I anticipated.
And yes, other stores offer same-day delivery. Apple, for instance, has a fee-based courier service that can deliver same-day. But how many other retailers deliver same-day for free?
Sure, this was just one data point – just one surprisingly fast and satisfactory experience – but it could also be a sign of how things will be when Walmart starts delivering orders for Home Depot.